Tag Archives: below

Tix’s Day Out at EGX Rezzed 2018!

It was a beautiful sunny day as my son and I caught the train to London to check out the latest Indie games on show at EGX Rezzed, which as usual was being held at Tobacco Dock in the heart of the city. This venue is the polar opposite of the large open spaces of the NEC in Birmingham, as it is an open air venue with lots of small rooms. My previous visit there in 2016 left me disappointed, as there were lots of people crowded into these small rooms, and with no queuing system in place there was more than a small amount of mayhem! Apparently feedback has been taken on board by the organisers, so let’s see what they have to offer.

With over 100 Indie titles on show, including a large presence from the folks at ID@Xbox, I knew we were never going to see everything on show, so a list was made whilst on the train, and our priorities were set. Here are my thoughts on some of the highlights of the day.

ONRUSH

The newest racing game from Codemasters and developed by the team previously known as Evolution Studios, who were responsible for Driveclub on the PS4. ONRUSH is not your usual racing game where the winner is the first one to reach the chequered flag. This is an all-action team based car fighting game, where your aim is to takedown the opposing teams cars whilst racing around an off-road circuit. First impressions of Onrush is that it is quick, frantic and immense amounts of fun! We had an absolute blast on the four games we played, all on the Countdown game mode which require you to gain extra time by driving through highlighted gates. I was intrigued with what I had seen in previews, but after playing I am now really excited by what Onrush will deliver. Releasing on 5th June this is definitely one to watch.

The devs have been busy since Rezzed and have released new videos detailing the other game modes available. Check them out on their official YouTube page and on Facebook and Twitter.

We were also lucky enough to snag a goody-bag in one of their giveaways, which made my son’s day!

Strange Brigade

This is the one I was most hyped about going into Rezzed after seeing it and watching the dev session at EGX 2017. Strange Brigade is a Boys-Own style adventure game, with up to 4 player co-op. Each level sees you battling the undead, mummies and statues that have come to life. The areas are set with traps to help you destroy the hordes of enemies, and there is nothing more satisfying than luring the undead into one of them before shooting it and watching the blades scything through them. This is possible my most anticipated game of 2018, assuming it comes out this year!

The devs have been actively promising more news soon and commented that the playable demo was an old build, and that the new build is looking and playing much better. I cannot wait for Strange Brigade!

Check out the official website and their social media channels here – FacebookTwitter.

Insane Robots

This one came as a suprise to me as I knew nothing about it before the show. Anyone visiting the room they were located in couldn’t fail to miss the colorful stand and stop to see what Insane Robots was all about. Developed by Playniac it is a single player and multiplayer card battling game which eschews the deck-building element so frequently found in the likes of Hearthstone. Instead, all cards are randomly allocated during the battle and these must be used to attack and defend, along with additional bonus multiplier cards in order to defeat your opposition.

Insane Robots was colourful and full of energy, and will be released in 2018 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.  Check out the official website.

Tyred

Visitors to previous EGX events will remember the buzz around Gang Beasts, with huge crowds watching as well as playing. Well, Tyred had that same buzz. The premise is simple. You take control of a Tyre and battle against other tyres in a series of mini-games. Fans of the TV show Wipeout will be very familiar with Tyred and a massive amount of fun was had by all. It does need some tweaking as some of the games were over-long, but there is definitely a diamond in here. Developed by the UK team at SekritGames, Tyred is only currently available on Steam Early Access.

Big Crown Showdown

Yet another game that I knew nothing about, and another that caught my eye based on its graphical style. Big Crown Showdown is a four player battle game where you have to battle against three other players whilst also navigating a treacherous world with traps and chasms. Great for family get togethers and drunken couch co-op but will also have online capabilities added for launch. The graphical style is medieval inspired but also very cute and pretty as well, with lots of charm. Big Crown Showdown is developed by Hyper Luminal Games and coming out soon for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Check out their official website for more info.

Phogs

Located in the same room as Double Fine – which due to the nature of the game was quite apt – Phogs is an interesting game where your have to control a dog with two heads using a control system very reminiscent of OctoDad. Developed by Bit Loom Games, Phogs is a puzzle platformer where the two dogs heads can attach to items by licking them, and then dragging them to a desired location. The body between the dogs can be stretched as well, and provided great moments where one head grabbed a light ball to allow the other head to function like a long stretchy torch. I smiled my way through this demo and look forward to what the devs will bring in the full game. Phogs was developed in conjunction with Coatsink and will be released in 2019.

Below

Ah, the long awaited Below. This was one I was most excited for. Originally debuted at E3 2013 before disappearing in order for Capybara to concentrate its efforts on finishing the game, Below is now resurfacing with extended gameplay trailers and demo’ing at both PAX and EGX Rezzed. I hate to say it but I wasn’t as blown away as I thought I would be. But that’s not intended as a negative as I believe that Below is not a game you can immerse yourself into for 5 minutes on an Xbox with other gamers queuing behind you for their shot. Below will need time and concentration in the peace of your own home.

Below is an action-adventure game viewed from a top-down perspective with your character being a “tiny warrior exploring the depths of a remote island”. The game is about exploration, though that goal is contingent upon the character’s survival. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer described the game at E3 2013 as a “creative take on roguelike gameplay” in a “mysterious world”. The environments are randomly generated.

Below is still a huge one-to-watch for 2018, and I for one cannot wait to immerse myself in the world that Capabara Games has invented.

So, thats my review of EGX Rezzed. Was it better than my previous visit? Yes, without question it was loads better! There was plenty of time to chat to the wonderful developers, and minimal queuing for games. The game rooms felt larger than previous, although finding the games you wanted to play in these rooms was sometimes difficult. We did come away without seeing at least one title that was on our wish-list. But it is safe to say that Rezzed is on our to-do list for the coming years and my 13 year old son now prefers it to the larger main EGX that takes place in the larger venue.

ID@Xbox bringing Below and 23 more games to EGX Rezzed

EGX Rezzed is being held at Tobacco Dock in London on 13th to 15th April and the ID@Xbox program have announced that they will be bringing 24 playable games to the show including the long, long awaited Below by Capybara.

“We’re excited to be back at EGX Rezzed with our biggest line-up ever. It’s incredibly humbling to see how the ID@Xbox programme has grown over the last five years to the point where there are now almost 800 games released from 477 studios around the world.”

“Over that time, gamers have spent more than 4 billion hours – more than 450,000 years of time – playing ID@Xbox games, and we can’t wait for players to come and try out some of the newest games at EGX Rezzed”, said Agostino Simonetta, ID@Xbox EMEA Regional Lead.

The total list of games are;

Below – Capybara Games – BELOW is a procedural terrarium filled with life, mystery and death. Explore. Survive. Discover.

Bomber Crew – Runner Duck Games & Curve Digital – Bomber Crew is a World War 2 strategic bombing sim, where completing the objective is just as important as keeping your crew alive, as death is permanent! Choose and train your crew, customize your Bomber, go chocks away and return victorious!

Children of Morta – Dead Mage & 11Bit Studios – Become a member of the Bergson family as you hack and slash your way through endless hordes of enemies in this procedurally generated, narrative driven roguelike either alone or cooperatively. Experience not only what it means to be a hero, but to be part of a family.

Descenders – RageSquid & No More Robots – Descenders is extreme downhill mountain biking for the modern era, with procedurally generated worlds, and where mistakes have real consequences. Will you lead your team to glory and become the next legendary Descender?

Flipping Death – Zoink Games – Possess the living, aid the dead and flip between the worlds of Flipping Death – a puzzling adventure platformer where you find yourself filling in for Death. Maybe your new powers will help you solve the mystery of your own demise?

Frostpunk – 11Bit Studios (Windows 10) – Frostpunk is the first game of society survival. In an ultimately frozen world, people develop steam-powered technology to oppose the overwhelming cold. The city ruler has to manage both the inhabitants and the infrastructure the citizens live in.

GRIP – Caged Element Inc. & Wired Productions – GRIP is a high octane, hardcore combat racer, packing ferocious speed and armed to the teeth with heavy weapons. Evolved from the age of street racing, the world of GRIP is brutal and cut-throat to the core. To win the race is never enough, greatness comes from the journey and the trail of merciless destruction you unleash upon your rivals along the way.

Harold Halibut – Slow Bros. – Harold Halibut is a modern adventure game about the daily routine on a spaceship stuck undersea. Slip into the tiny shoes of Harold and enjoy the stop-motion feeling in this world made entirely out of craft materials like wood, clay and metal.

Huntdown – Easy Trigger Games & Coffee Stains Studios – In the future, the police have lost control to the mighty gangs who now rule the streets. Where crime is king, the authorities put their trust in hired guns to solve the problem. A price is set on the gang leaders´ heads. It´s time for the Bounty Hunters — It´s time to hunt ´em down.

Insane Robots – Playniac – Card battling HACKED! A riotous robot rebellion fought with fiendish card battles in survival arenas. Can you defeat The Kernel and save robotkind? Play the deep single-player campaign or compete in intense local and online multiplayer in Insane Robots.

Jump Gunners – NerdRage – Jump Gunners is a 2D retro styled battle arena game for up to 4 players, matching fast paced hilarious recoil jumping mechanics, with tight arcade twin stick gameplay. Described as the beautiful child of Towerfall and Worms, Jump Gunners brings back the glory days of battling your friends around the TV! Featuring over 20 weapons, destructible environments and tons of hats, Jump Gunners is the definitive couch competitive game.

Kingdom: Two Crowns – Noio & Raw Fury – In Kingdom: Two Crowns, players take on the roles of two monarch working cooperatively to build their kingdom up from nothing and securing it from the returning threat of the Greed. Building upon the award-winning minimalist strategy of the Kingdom franchise, only by working together can you ensure a lasting peace for your loyal subjects!

Moonlighter – Digital Sun & 11Bit studios – Moonlighter is an Action RPG with rogue-lite elements following the everyday routines of Will, an adventurous shopkeeper that dreams of becoming a hero.

My Time at Portia – Pathea Games & Team 17 – Start a new life in the enchanting town of Portia! Restore your Pa’s neglected workshop to its former glory, grow crops, raise animals, befriend the towns quirky inhabitants and uncover the mysteries this charming post-apocalyptic land has forgotten!

Nippon Marathon – Onion Soup Interactive & PQube – Nippon Marathon is a multiplayer-focused, physics-driven party racing game set in Japan. Supporting one-to-four players, contestants race across levels themed around different areas of Japan; or take part in gameshow-themed party games designed for two-to-eight players.

Nothing To Fear – Dlala Studios – Nothing To Fear is a trap-setting, scare-creating, object-mimicking, target-terrifying, puzzle-filled adventure game. Find creative ways to complete your missions and witness fear being restored as your victims share their spooky stories across social media. Take control of Mush, the heir to the Boogieman’s throne, as you scare your way across a hand drawn world featuring character designs by Mike Dietz (Earthworm Jim/The Neverhood).

PLANET ALPHA – Planet Alpha & Team 17 – PLANET ALPHA is an atmospheric side-scrolling platform adventure game. Combining fast platforming, creative puzzles, stealth mechanics and a unique art style to create an unforgettable experience.You awake on a strange alien world that is home to many mysterious, exotic flora and fauna. As you explore the world around you, you’ll uncover the ability to rotate and control the planet. Is this world really as tranquil and serene as it first appears and what more will you discover?

Robocraft Infinity – Freejam – Build, drive, fight! Create fully customisable robots block-by-block that can drive, hover, walk and fly in the multiplayer combat game, Robocraft Infinity. Equip weapons from the future and jump into the driving seat as you battle for supremacy in multiple 5 vs 5 game modes (Battle Arena and Team Deathmatch) against players from across the world.

Starbound – Chucklefish – In Starbound, you create your own story – there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.

Strange Brigade – Rebellion – Egypt, the 1930s. Erased from ancient history and buried in a nameless tomb for 4,000 years, Seteki the Witch Queen has risen once again. Only one troop of daring heroes can stand against the fearsome power of Seteki and her army of mummified monstrosities: The Strange Brigade! Explore remarkable ruins, solve perilous puzzles and uncover tantalising treasure while blasting your way through an array of undead enemies in thrilling third-person action that’s certain to bring out your inner adventurer!

TerraTech – Payload Studios – TerraTech is an open-world, sandbox adventure game, where you design and build your own creations through a mix of crafting, combat and discovery. Explore a hostile alien landscape, or design with creative freedom. The choice is yours.

Tormental – Gungrounds – Mental, destroyer of worlds, builds a powerful portal on Earth which he uses to manifest his deepest, most violent thoughts into the real world. Enter the portal and blast your way through the worlds of his mind inhabited by hordes of monsters that you’ll have to face off in order to reach and defeat his ego. Let the showdown begin!

Trailmakers – Flashbulb Games – Building a car, airplane, helicopter or walking robot in Trailmakers is as easy as playing with toy blocks. Take your machines on exciting expeditions, race them against your friends, or build the craziest contraptions you can imagine in our huge sandbox.

Wargroove – Chucklefish – Wargroove is a turn-based strategy game for up to 4 players. Each player takes control of an army and its commander unit to wage war on their enemies! Wargroove is extremely easy to pick up and very difficult to master, with deep gameplay mechanics that complement strategic play.

Below Q&A with Capybara Games

Capy Games’ co-founder and creative director, Kris Piotrowski, and co-founder and president, Nathan Vella, sat down with Xbox Wire to answer some questions about their new project, including its art style, how the game ended up on Xbox One, its soundtrack and more.

You just announced your new Xbox One title “Below.” How would you describe the game?

Kris Piotrowski :
 “Below” is an adventure game which focuses on atmosphere, exploration, survival and skill-based combat. Many of the ideas in “Below” are directly inspired by roguelikes of yor, though we’re approaching every aspect of the design with a uniquely stylized perspective. “Below” features no text, no hints and no dialogue. It’s all mood, atmosphere and soul… and skill.

The game has a really unique aesthetic, particularly the scale – what’s the idea behind this?

Kris Piotrowski :
 We wanted to create a world that was rich with tiny details, and create a space that felt grand because the character was so small, and so far away. The scale also helped enforce some of the main ideas found in game: the tiny wanderer players control is highly capable, but very fragile. Their time on The Isle is short and fleeting, one false move away from permanent death. The art style and scale help evoke this feeling of loneliness and vulnerability: The wanderer feels far away from the player, and the environments feel vast and intimidating by comparison. The game scale also offers many unique gameplay advantages, but we’ll reveal more about that in the future.

How did “Below” come to be an Xbox One game, and what has it been like developing “Below” for Xbox One?

Nathan Vella:
 We had been working on “Below” for a while before even considering platform, and by the time we were ready to find the game a home we had a clear picture of what we thought would make the game special. We had already started working with Microsoft Studios on “Super TIME Force” (which hits XBLA on Xbox 360 this year), so “Below” definitely flowed from that relationship.

In the end, Xbox One really afforded us an opportunity to develop on a platform that fit exactly what we wanted to do with “Below,” in terms that really worked for us. It’s a great fit. Since then, “Xbox One” development has been very smooth – and this is really important to us, since we really want to focus as much of the team as possible on the core of the game — things like exploration, combat, and aesthetics.

For us, working with Microsoft Studio comes with some big advantages, even beyond early access to a new platform. We’ve had, and will continue to get, real support from a lot of the Xbox One teams. When you can jump into a meeting to discuss cloud features with a lead on the team in charge of those features, you know things are going to get done and they’ll get done right. The fact that they’re looking to our game to help ‘shape’ some of Xbox One features & systems is amazing, and very handy too!

Another big part of the announcement was that Jim Guthrie is doing the soundtrack. How did this come to be?

Kris Piotrowski :
 Working with Jim Guthrie and Superbrothers on “Sworcery” was one of the most rewarding collaborative experience of my life, and a great learning experience for Capy Games. As soon as we wrapped up “Sworcery,” we immediately asked Jim to help us with Below. Though Below is in no way a sequel to “Sworcery,” it does dip into some of the same pools for inspiration. And of course, creating “Sworcery” has made it a permanent part of our sensibilities. The focus on atmosphere, mood and soul is something that we’re hoping to continue and build on with “Below,” and Jim is a dang soulful fella. Plus by now, we’re all good friends and love working together.

Nathan Vella: It’s really amazing to create a new, interesting space for people to explore while listening to Jim’s beautiful music. We’re excited to be working with that crazy dude again.